Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Lennart Ginman (Denmark-Finland) – She (single/track from forthcoming album)

There’s nothing I like more than an atmospheric, cinematic piece of electronic music and that is exactly what is on offer here from Lennart Ginman, and, to be honest, it’s the opposite of what I was expecting when the first thing I read was that he is a double bass player.

Actually, I’m off the pace with this review because he has released another single as I write this but I’ll stick with this one as I was immediately sold on it.

While he may excel on the double bass, he is also a composer and producer and that is immediately evident from this piece, ‘She’, which also features Maggie Björklund and Steen Rock as the ‘Lennart Ginman trio’.

‘She’ is the first single release from the album ‘360’ which is scheduled to drop in September and which has, he says, “been created with no ulterior motives, compromise or regard to existing genres. My only measure was to scale the shivers sent up my own spine.” No pressure then.

What he does is to meld electronic and jazz music, something I’m increasingly getting into on account of the volume of such genre mash-ups across the Nordic countries. It’s as if the United Nations gave them unique dispensation to experiment in these fields.

And he set out to do it without the division between his electronic and jazz sides – thus the album’s title ‘360’, representing its holistic nature as he attempts to build a bridge between the repetitive tightness and rigour of the ‘machine’ and the total openness of form in jazz.

Three Ms characterise Ginman’s work, namely movies, melancholy and minimalism. Like a Danish Philip Glass I suppose.

Melancholy isn’t in evidence here in this up-tempo, bright and breezy work, and neither, I would venture, is minimalism. There’s a lot going on and plenty of syncopation.

But the movie trait is evident. I can easily imagine it forming the backdrop to an audio visual presentation at a planetarium or somewhere like Jodrell Bank, (a huge English radio telescope with a visitor centre) of ‘the creation of the universe’.

I also recall at the Manchester International Festival in 2019 five of the world’s leading female electronic music specialists coming together with audio visual presentations and one of them saw the specially written music as the soundtrack to a low level flight around the world with cities converted into kaleidoscopic images like the ‘Star Gate’ scene in 2001 – A Space Odyssey. This piece would suit that perfectly.

Always an innovator, Lennart Ginman will reveal on the album experimentation with FM-synthesis, “a specific approach to creation of sound” (could just be twiddling a radio dial I suppose) while he insists that it will be “music for all, but not for everyone.” On the face of it that just sounds like a throwaway line, but you know it has depth in its meaning.

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Photo by Kim Wendt

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